MED+ Urgent Care Blog

Fentanyl - Can Be Fatal Just On Your Skin!!
Tue, May 16, 2017

An Ohio police officer suffered a near-fatal drug overdose after he tried to brush what was believed to be powdered fentanyl off his shirt with his bare hand, authorities said.

East Liverpool Officer Chris Green had just carried out a traffic arrest of two drug suspects on Friday night. Another officer pointed out the white substance on Green’s shirt, the same substance that was allegedly strewn about in the suspects’ car.

“Just out of instinct, he tried to brush it off — not thinking,” Police Capt. Patrick Wright told Youngstown’s WKBN-TV. At that point, Green was no longer wearing the protective gloves and mask he’d donned to search the car for evidence, the captain said. An hour later, Green passed out at the station.

Fentanyl, a synthetic opioid that is 50 to 100 times more potent than morphine, can enter a person’s body through inhalation and through skin contact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warns.

It ultimately took four doses of the opioid antidote Narcan to revive Green, Wright said.

“Chris is a big, strong guy. He’s an ex-[mixed martial arts] fighter, 220-something pounds of solid muscle, and it overtook him just like that,” Wright told WFMJ News. “If you really think about this, these drugs could be used as a weapon of mass destruction. All you have to do is walk into any room, flip it into the air and people are going to start dropping out.”

Just two milligrams of fentanyl is enough to kill a person, according to Dr. Nora Wolkow, director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse.

Many thanks to Nina Golgowski and The Huffington Post for this information!!